CM: "Pateras" is a well-known family name of shipowners and sea-captains from the island of Oinousses (opposite Chios and close to the coast of Asia Minor / Turkey). There are several branches of the family - some became Hadjipateras, another branch is called Papapateras, after a member of the family who became a priest about the beginning of the 20th century. From different stories I have heard from members of this huge clan which has intermarried often with the other prominent Oinoussian family, the Lemos family, the priest who became Papapateras had also been a Captain, who had been saved from shipwreck and having made a "tama" (promise) to Saint Nicholas left the sea and was ordained. The "N." of the patronym would almost certainly be Nikolaos, since Saint Nicholas is the patron of seamen and, not surprisingly, the patron of the parish church of Oinousses. If this is the priest in the photo, he was once described to me by one of the London-based Oinoussians, as "the most pious and most blasphemous priest in Chios"! The habits of a sea-captain could not - apparently - be changed so quickly, simply by the descent of the Holy Spirit! As one sees, the priest has the classic physiognomy of an Ionic Greek (most common among Asia Minor Greeks), a little bit "agerochos" (proud) - but I'm sure that this only adds to his evidently charismatic and deeply sympathetic personality. One should not forget that these islands had been liberated from the Ottoman Empire and added to Greece in 1913, but by 1923, Ionia had been devastated by the Asia Minor disaster, which destroyed a civilization of many millennia, symbolized by the total inflagration of Smyrna. During these years, Georgios Papandreou, senior, was, by appointment of Eleftherios Venizelos, the Governor of Chios, where his son Andreas was born in 1919. So this photograph of a priest dated 1917, can be considered a classic, if it is indeed, as I propose, a photo of the "Papa Pateras of Oinousses".
[Stelios Rigopoulos former Archimandrite Isaias Simonopetritis 01/2009]